May 4, 2017

Out of the Desert

By Wendy Morgan
Volunteer Coordinator, Mission ConneXion Northwest

DesertPerhaps you have read my recent submission Praying Without Borders, perhaps not; but here is the rest of the story.

I accepted the Lord as my Savior about the age of 8.  And though I can assure you a great peace enveloped me at that time and there have been a variety of seasons in my life, I have often not felt truly close to the Lord, I have doubted my salvation, and I struggled to feel His deep love for me personally.  I have been especially sensitive to this in the past couple of years and have strongly felt the Holy Spirit guiding me on my search for the missing pieces – primarily, “Lord, would You teach me to pray, help me to feel your love, and give me a burden for the lost?”

As I stated in my last article, God did make one small prayer “connexion” for me in the Fall of 2015. It was a good beginning and I understood more my need to pray, but I was still seeking how to really pray.  Suffice it to say, my search left me feeling stuck and could hardly wait for Prayer ConneXion (2016).

Dee Duke’s story about commitment and discipline were inspiring, a great beginning; and Dick Eastman’s testimony about being a youth pastor, leading prayer retreats yet having no care, no emotion and crying out to God “Lord, help me care!” was refreshingly encouraging because that hit home for me.  Yet it was the two workshops where God did His extraordinary work in me.

First, I attended “How to Hear God in Prayer” by Calvin and Julie Tadema.  You know what I learned?  God does speak to me!  I knew He must but I truly did not know for certain that He really did.  You see, I’m a visual learner by nature and that’s how God’s been speaking to me.  I was always taught that I had to clear my mind in prayer and thought the pictures and words I saw were distractions.  It seems so simplistic now, but I really did not know that prayer was so much more than the little box I (and others) had painted it to be.  Pardon the expression, but it’s somewhat like the Tardis –  bigger on the inside.  It is so much more than I ever knew!

Then there was Dennis Fuqua’s “Elevating Our Prayers” workshop where he focused on three things: the Pauline Prayers, the Lord’s Prayer (John 17), and the Disciple’s Prayer (which we tend to call “The Lord’s Prayer”.  Jesus did say, “When you pray, pray like this…”; and it was unpacked in such a way that the pattern became very clear and evident.  It was the how I was looking for and has played a huge part in revolutionizing my prayer life these past weeks.15-12-03 Wendy 1

Now, I feel God’s love for me in a way I have never experienced before, I no longer doubt my salvation, and I have a concern for others that was missing.  I know He has been there all along, forever faithful, but it is now cemented in my heart.  This Israelite’s 40 years of desert wandering has come to an end.

Editor’s Note: Wendy serves as the organization’s Volunteer Coordinator for the Mission ConneXion Northwest event. She will be one of the workshop instructors at this year’s Prayer ConneXion.